I recently offered to make personalised cushions in a fundraising promise auction. The winning bidder wanted one with S&D on it for her sons, and I said how about two? One each. She agreed.
When I’ve made name cushions in the past I’ve appliqued the letters on the cushion tops. But with one large letter, especially for young boys, I thought I needed a more robust construction. So one night it came to me, why not use the porthole technique I learned in Lu Summers’ class at the Fat Quarterly Retreat 2 years ago?
It worked really nicely, and I love how it’s a little window onto the seascape fabric underneath. I decided to frame the letters with 2.5″ squares.
Onto the quilting. I worried that swirls might be a bit too girly, but actually it was perfect – a hint of sea waves! I’ve been taking some Craftsy FMQ classes (Angela Waters) and I have to say it’s given me a great deal of confidence. That, as well as a face to face lesson by Trudi Wood at last year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat, has fuelled my love of free motion quilting. This is done in Aurifil 50, which is thinner than my usual 40wt, one of Angela Waters’ tips is thinner thread, and thread that blends (hides a multitude of slips!) and I’m a convert!
I love the quilting inside the letter D!
Best of all the boys and their mum love them. One of the boys took his straight to bed with him, and was still cuddling it in the morning!
Remember my son complaining about the quilt I was making for my niece? Well here it is:
It’s finished, washed and has crinkled up just as I like it.
Made with charm squares, quilted in straight lines and FMQ with star, heart, swirls and swirly designs. And here’s her name emboidered on the front:
Quilting and piecing with Aurifil thread, embroidered with Perle cotton. Hope she likes it!
I wanted an easy, quick project that I could do with my seven year old daughter. From the Tikki quilting shop in Kew I bought a ready cut bunting kit. I could have easily made my own, but the kit made everything much easier for us.
My daughter sewed the triangles together, we both turned them inside out (she’s now an expert at using the purple thang to make pointy corners), then I ironed them flat.
She pinned them on the binding in the order she wanted them… And then we both shared the final sewing together. (I think she did a lot more than me at actually).
By the end she was sewing confidently and even removing pins without stopping. I made sure I was using aurifil thread, so that we didn’t have any thread breakages… Just uninterrupted sewing!
She got the feel of what speed was comfortable for her and understood how to correct any mistakes. Although to be honest, the only mistakes she made were when I had left the machine on full speed accidentally!
I love the finished bunting, and we have a few triangles left over to put another short bunting on her pink fireplace.
I think this would be great with some space fabrics for my son too.
My big pink quilt is finished and I just love it!
I had it basted for over a year (not kidding) and the backing was really bugging me, it was too much for the quilt. So I took off the flowery backing that you can see in this post, instead I made my first pieced backing in greys and a row of the same prints as the quilt top.
After this year’s Fat Quarterly Retreat i felt brave enough to tackle FMQ on this huge beauty too. Thanks Trudi for the instruction in that class – it made a huge difference to me. Of course, I used Aurifil 50wt thread too after seeing how it behaved in that class. I didn’t have one thread breakage!
Now i’m new at this FMQ, so this quilt is full of rookie mistakes and flaws. I probably shouldn’t have used red on the back. It would have been much better to have have a dark grey matching thread – my flaws wouldn’t have been so visible! But I was a bit nervous of using different threads in the top and bottom. I shouldn’t have been. Next time I will take more care whilst considering the colour of the bobbin thread.
There’s build up of thread, overshooting my line etc etc…. but do you know what… I STILL love this, and it has pride of place on our bed.
Is it weird to have a “favourite bit” of the quilt – do others have this too? Well mine is the very small pebble bit at the corners of the light blue sashing. Did I say I’m new at FMQ… I kept my dodgy pebbling to a minimum!!
So there she is – she’s big, she’s bold, she’s not perfect but she’s flippin’ marvellous! I’m so proud of her.
Pattern and most of the fabrics are Kaffe Fassett.
During the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London I took some classes with the amazing Trudi Wood. I love her work and her class was a bit like opening a door on the mysteries of free motion quilting. I have dabbled with FMQ in the past, experimented and stumbled in the dark… but after her classes (in FMQ and FMQ design) I am completely confident in going for it! My FMQ is full of mistakes / flaws or “design features” as she might put it, but I feel that it gets easier everytime I sit down and try.
The photo above was done with my proper machine, but during the class I was using (well…wrestling) with my 25 year Jones machine. She wasn’t happy, she was presenting me with huge eyelashes all over my practice sandwich.
I changed needle.
I changed tension.
I adjusted the bobbin tension with a screwdriver.
I gave up and took a coffee break!
During coffee I was moaning about my frustrations to Cara who suggested that maybe I should change thread completely.
So I went back and rethreaded with Aurifil 50. Now I originally didn’t want to
use my precious Aurifil for these practice sandwiches but look at the difference it made!
It was as if a little fairy had come down to make it all better! Who knew that a change of thread could make that much of a difference?